On occasion, we share a story that cuts deep, so deep that the customary “life lesson” seems extraneous. A story that confounds the traditional paradigm of what a father should be, and reveals the boundless potential of what a father can be.
In the words of Summer Puente…
“This is my dad. With him is my eldest sister, Sonny.”
“Thomas and Sonny eat dinner in the big chair and fall asleep together every night.”
“She’s got the cognitive ability of a two or three year old, with limited speech and mobility and function. Like a baby, trapped within the temperament of a toddler and in the body of a young woman.”
Arnetta White. My mother. Born in poverty. The youngest of twelve. She faced racism, sexism and segregation. And a troubled marriage, as well.
Kevin (standing left), Keith (seated), Mrs. Arnetta White, Mr. Henry White (Yon’s father), Me (infant)
After Dad left, Mom filled both parenting roles. She shined at both. We rarely felt an absence of dad.
But she never complained. Her strength of character and faith in God got us all through some difficult times. Her heart was so big, her effort so great; she made many sacrifices for us. In all of my life, I‘ve seen Mom cry only twice.
She raised my brothers and me on a housekeeper’s salary. Her venue each day: twenty-some rooms on a nursing home floor. Climbing ladders. Changing curtains. Mopping floors. Removing trash. For anyone—especially a heavyset woman of 60 — backbreaking work.
Then it happened. Mom suddenly became tired, light-headed, but wanted to finish her housekeeping duties. When she got home, she felt a lot worse. My brother rushed her to the hospital. READ MORE
My dad would have been 66 years old yesterday. I lost him to bone cancer seven months ago. In his eulogy I passed forward the half-dozen philosophies he taught me that shaped me into the man I am today, in the hope they might benefit those in attendance.
Darren Hardy in his father’s arms
In honor and celebration of his birthday I’d like to pass one of those philosophies forward to you. This one saved my life… and defined my life.
You might know that my parents divorced when I was only 18 months old. My mother never really wanted to be a mother (she got angry when she found out she was pregnant with me), so when they split up, she cheerfully handed me over to my dad.
My dad didn’t know what to do with me either. He was only 23 years old when I was born. He had just moved from his hometown, in the San Francisco Bay Area, to what seemed like the middle of nowhere in Albuquerque, New Mexico.